“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) Casting Out Demons (Frank Himmel)
2) Garbage (Jason Moore)
3) The Human Body of Christ, God Incarnate! (video sermon, Tom Edwards)
4) News & Notes
Casting Out Demons
Superstition and mystery surround the subject of demons. The Bible contains no discourses about them. All we can know must be discerned from the handful of incidents in which they were involved.
The New Testament word rendered demon was used by Greeks to denote an inferior deity. The Bible depicts them as members of the spirit world who are evil, operating in conjunction with Satan.
Jesus cast out demons on numerous occasions. Notice a few cases from Mark’s gospel.
Early during His ministry, a man with an “unclean spirit” came to the synagogue at Nazareth where the Lord was teaching. He cried out, “What do we have to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus cast out the spirit to the amazement of the crowd (Mark 1:21-18).
Later in the same chapter, Mark records that Jesus cast out demons, not permitting them to speak, “because they knew who He was” (v. 34). Their knowledge was correct (see James 2:19), but theirs was an endorsement He could certainly do without!
Mark 5 records the case of Legion. This man was possessed by many spirits, hence his name. They made him unusually strong and given to self-abuse, out of his right mind. These, too, confessed Jesus. This case illustrates demons having emotions, desires, and reasoning power. They asked and received permission to leave the man and enter a herd of swine, resulting in the death of the herd.
Mark 9 records the case of a possessed boy. The spirit that tormented him made him mute. It threw him into convulsions and often threw him into fire or water to destroy him. The boy’s father brought him to Jesus’ disciples. The Lord had given them power over unclean spirits (6:7), but they were unable to cast this one out. Evidently, it was particularly strong or strong-willed. Jesus said the problem was the apostles’ lack of faith (Matthew 17:20).
Despite the varied physical effects produced by demon-possession, it is noteworthy that in no case did it cause one to be a sinner.
The prophet Zechariah foretold the day when prophecy and unclean spirits would be removed from the land (Zechariah 13:2). That day was in the era when the fountain for sin was opened for the house of David (v. 1).
Demon-possession corresponded to the time of the establishment of the kingdom of heaven. God allowed it because it provided one more proof of Jesus’ identity. Even critics knew that expulsion required miraculous power. Thus Jesus told them, “If I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28).
— Via Pathlights, October 31, 2021
Some of the most significant finds of archaeology are not temples and palaces and treasures, but garbage pits. It is in the trash pits of ancient civilizations that archaeologists learn about the diet of a people. They find pieces of broken pottery and can tell such things as the time period in which a people lived, their economic status, their contact with other peoples and cultures. They may find samples of their writing, furniture, weapons, tools, and evidences of their daily habitudes. Yes, you can tell much about a people from what they throw away.
The sorts of things we toss in the garbage pit in our country will tell future generations some things about us. They may think us wasteful. With all the push being made toward recyclable goods and packaging, they may think us primitive that we could not find uses or reuses for discarded materials.
The more perceptive and morally conscious may be appalled by other trends witnessed in America’s dump sites. Isn’t it a telling mark that we live in a nation that discards the unborn? It says something about the value placed on human life. It tells a tale about a people obsessed with personal liberty. It exposes a people without natural affection.
To bring the matter a little closer to home, you can tell a lot about yourself by what you throw away. Paul said of himself, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).
Paul’s statement tells the tale of a man who had discarded inferior things for things superior. He gave up reputation among men that he might know and be known by Christ. He gave up a degree of political power that he might find a higher one, the “power of his resurrection” (verse 10). He threw away a life of material gain and relative ease that he might know the “fellowship of his sufferings” (verse 11).
But Paul acknowledged that he wasn’t “threw” yet. “I count not myself to have apprehended … forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14).
Conversion as Paul illustrates is largely a matter of knowing what to throw away and knowing what to keep. When a believer is baptized God performs a surgery in which He removes the pollution of sin: “In [Christ] also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12f.).
Once we by faith have submitted ourselves to this operation of God, it becomes our responsibility to keep sin in the pile of discarded items. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth . . . seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:5,9,10).
So what do you find in your trash pile? Have you yet put off the old man of sin? Please note that the only way to discard sin is by the means that God has prescribed. A man would be a fool to tell his doctor that he trusted him and then not follow his doctor’s orders. What of the man who says that he believes in Christ and then ignores the procedure that He prescribes for sin’s removal?
Baptism is not contradictory to faith; it is an indication of faith for one is “buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God….” (Colossians 2:12).
It is possible for a man who has been baptized to have never really discarded sin. What about you? Did your conversion involve any putting off, any regarding of this world’s gain as dung, any circumcision of the old body of sin? Surgery is always accompanied with some degree of pain. If there was no discomfort in our conversion or if we are not familiar with the uneasiness of change, then it is likely that there has been no change.
Ever throw away something on accident only to have to return later to dig it out of the trash? Unfortunately we can sometimes discard habits and sins only to dig them up later. Do you not see the ugliness of that picture? How odious a sight to see a man wearing garments he has dug from the bottom of the dung heap. How much more sickening it must be in the sight of God when we who are to be clothed in His holiness put on the sin-stained, decay-ridden garments of our past.
Yes, you can tell a lot about a person by what they throw away. Be careful then what you throw away. And watch what you keep.
— Via The Beacon, November 28, 2021
The Human Body of Christ, God Incarnate!
For the video sermon with the above title, just click on the following link while on the Internet:
News & Notes
Folks to be praying for:
We are glad that the surgery went well for Tammy Griffey. She is now in rehab, where she will be having therapy for 6 weeks.
Ron Montero is still undergoing cancer treatments and not doing very well.
Danielle Bartlett will continue to have dialysis 3 times a week until she receives a donor kidney, which she is back on the list for.
Let us also continue to remember in prayer the family and friends of Shirley Davis who recently passed away.
Let us also be remembering Rick Cuthbertson, Ronnie Davis, Deborah Medlock, Jim Lively, Rex Hadley, Vivian Foster, Kayla Williams, and Kim Rowell in our prayers.
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins. For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30). For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21). This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…
6) Continue in the faith by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday: 9 a.m. Bible Class and 10 a.m. Worship Service.
Every First Sunday of the Month: 5 p.m. Song Service
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm/ (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)